This summer, Selfridges have joined forces with one of the most exciting emerging young British theatre companies in the UK, The Faction, to celebrate Shakespeare400 with a new staging of Much Ado About Nothing at The reFASHIONed Theatre, a pop-up performance space inside the famous Oxford Street store. It runs from 23 August to 24 September 2016, with a press night on 26 August.
Leading the cast of this ambitious production is Evening Standard Award nominee Daniel Boyd (Royal Shakespeare Company’s Oppenheimer; Headlong’s Romeo and Juliet; BBC’s The Hollow Crown) and star of the BBC hit Shetland Alison O’Donnell (Headlong’s Boys; Dolls at The National Theatre Scotland) as Beatrice and Benedick.
They will be joined by Caroline Langrishe (BBC’s Judge John Deed, Outnumbered and Lovejoy), Jude Owusu (Royal Shakespeare Company’s Julius Caesar; The Comedy of Errors at NationalTheatre; BBC’s Father Brown), Harry Lister Smith (Trevor Nunn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Posh, West End; BBC’s War and Peace), Tala Gouveia (Husbands and Sons at National Theatre; A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Shakespeare’s Globe), Christopher Hughes (an Off West End Best Actor nominee for title role in The Faction’s The Talented Mr Ripley), and Jamie Maclachlan who is best known for his lead role in the Emmy Award nominated film Four Minutes. Lowri Izzard makes her professional stage debut as Hero.
The production also sees a fantastic line-up of ‘digital cameos’ including Four Weddings and a Funeral star Simon Callow CBE, Rufus Hound (Royal Shakespeare Company’s Don Quixote), and Goodness Gracious Me actress Meera Syal CBE. These pre-recorded cameos have been created by digital content specialists Dusthouse, and will be projected into the space as news reports and CCTV footage as part of the 21st century refashioning of the production.
Co-director Rachel Valentine Smith comments:
“We are beyond excited to create Much Ado About Nothing with a company of such lively, intelligent, and playful actors. Everyone brings a unique experience and energy to the process, which is exactly what you need for a project like this. Creating this show for our wild and modern times for the Shakespeare Refashioned campaign with these actors is so joyful and we can’t wait to share this joy with our audiences.”
The reFASHIONed Theatre, an intimate 122-seat auditorium with a traverse, raised stage, is not just any pop-up. This contemporary production of Much Ado About Nothing occupies a distinctly 21st century landscape of high style, tabloid journalism, CCTV and iconic events.
The Faction is part of the next generation of classical theatre making for both artists and audiences. They interpret classical texts with a contemporary aesthetic to engage and excite local, national and international audiences. Building a diverse ensemble with a rolling repertoire, The Faction is a sustainable arts organisation for the 21st century.